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Most degree programs in Exercise Science offer students the option of completing a thesis. Students may also choose a degree program that does not include a thesis (non-thesis). A thesis is a comprehensive research project that requires the highest level of academic performance and quality. It also requires considerable skills in academic writing and research design. While students may choose either a thesis or non-thesis degree option when they begin their graduate program, it is recommended that a final decision regarding a thesis or non-thesis program be made in consultation with their Graduate Mentor after the student has completed both ESS 5346 - Literature and Research and ESS5356 Experimental Design. For more information on the requirements for completion of a Master’s Thesis at Texas State University students should refer to the following link:

Requirements for a Master’s Thesis

Students whose degree plan includes a thesis usually complete their 24 semester hours of course work before enrolling in thesis courses (ESS 5399A and ESS 5399B). These courses cannot be taken in the same semester, but must be completed in two (or more) separate consecutive semesters. Before enrolling for thesis courses, each student should: 1) review the thesis information provided by the Graduate College, and 2) consult with the Graduate Mentor regarding a thesis topic and selecting a thesis committee chair. The committee chair is a graduate faculty member who agrees to supervise the student’s work on the thesis project and review the student’s writing of the thesis document. The committee chair should have an academic specialization suitable for the proper supervision of the student’s research project. The student, in consultation with their committee chair, will also select at least two other graduate faculty members who agree to serve on his/her thesis committee along with the committee chair.

While the student is enrolled in ESS 5399A, he/she is expected to develop an original research question, plan the methodology for data collection to answer that research question, and write a complete research proposal, including a comprehensive review of the related research literature. This work will be completed under the supervision and direction of the student’s thesis committee chair. Upon completion of the thesis proposal, the student will make a formal presentation of the proposal to his/her thesis committee. Once all the required revisions to the proposal have been completed, and the proposal has been formally presented to, approved, and signed by the thesis committee members, the student may begin the data collection process.

The following semester, when the student is enrolled in ESS 5399B, he/she will finish the data collection required for the project, analyze the results, and finish the thesis document. Then, the student will make a formal defense of the results to his/her thesis committee. Once all committee members have approved and signed the thesis, the student must submit the document to the Graduate College for the Dean’s approval. After the approval and signature of the Dean of the Graduate College, the student must submit the thesis to the Library, completing all thesis requirements.